Accident Causation Theories - Essay Example

2 pages
481 words
Carnegie Mellon University
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In determining the cause of an accident, the multiple causation theory uses both analytical approach and techniques to investigate. It is wide and based on many acts, causes and conditions, which are complex, obvious, systematic or obscure. Unsafe/safe acts and conditions theory examine a list of safe and unsafe acts as the immediate cause of an accident. It represents a simplistic view of accidents with little investigation or analysis. For example, a cook who slips carrying a pot of soup during the lunch rush and is injured. Such an accident can have many causes like slippery floor, pressure or human error, which makes the multiple theory applicable.

Linear models use correlation, that is noting how things occur together and drawing inferences of how likely or unlikely they are to happen depending on their interaction in the past. Hence, accidents are because of accumulated failures, hazards and conditions. The non-linear model seeks to understand system dynamics as opposed to linear, which model conditions and human failures. Although linear model solves a wide range of investigation, they fail when the order of occurrence is not related or some situations that cannot be modelled by simple correlation.

Dominos theory investigates how an accident occurs by comparing events, which fall in a sequence and eventually causes the accident. In the first case the social environment is the workplace, the person involved is the employee who uses the premises, in this case, the unsafe act dominos is missing which should be the fault of the person. However, acts of unsafe conditions fall in place starting with poor lighting, which should be adequate for a safe work environment and lack of a warning sign to indicate a wet floor, which could have averted the eventual injury. In the report, the institution should seek to add more lighting and forego the need to conserve energy and ensure that all work warning signs are put in place every time. By removing, the unsafe dominos, which is a preventive action, would prevent the injury in future.

Haddon matrix theory correlates levels of prevention/phases with all factors leading to the accident graphically. Accident phases include pre-event, event and post-event. Factors may range from host/human, equipment/agent, and environments physical or social. Pre-event factors include hosts who were ill-trained on safety procedures(under the assumption there existed channels of reporting accidents, the second employee would have used this channel to call for help); working in environments with no equipments to aid their breathing. In the actual event of the accident sequence, both employees suffocated in the vault with no one in sight to notice the distress. And the post-event is the eventual death of both employees. Corrective measures to train employees on safety rules and procedures to follow in case of accidents are crucial to avert future accidents. The organization should ensure safe working environments by providing gas masks.

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